Renewables centre denies fraud

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The European Commission has asked the fraud division of Denmark's police department to investigate alleged misappropriation of funds by the "Northwest People's Centre for Renewable Energy." The allegation, which made national news headlines, is firmly denied by Preben Maegaard, the centre's head. He is demanding and official apology from the EC. The Commission alleges that a project for which it paid 25% of the cost -- development of a multi-poled generator -- was not completed within the stipulated time frame. Maegaard explains that the project's final phase was delayed because the Danish energy agency, the project's main backer, required that another government funded project be completed first. Once informed of the delay, the EC withdrew its support. "To our great amazement, the EU has since demanded that we return all the support and reported us to the police. It's completely out of proportion," says Maegaard. The EU has approved all of the project's reports so far, he says, which have been audited and approved. "A third of the support we have received from the EU is unused," adds Maegaard. This sum amounts to DKK 225,000, which the centre is intending to return.

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